'Near Threatened' Southern White Rhino Calf Born at Tampa Zoo (...and She's Adorable)
Start your week off right: by gazing at this new baby southern white rhinoceros who was born at ZooTampa over the weekend.
The female calf was born in the overnight hours of June 6, according to a news release from the zoo. Her mom is 20-year-old Alake, who the zoo called an "experienced mother," and her father is a rhino named Ongava. Both mother and daughter are doing well, and the calf "appears to be strong," according to the zoo.
She's the eighth southern white rhino to be born at ZooTampa. Alake and Ongava were paired together through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Species Survival Plans, which are designed to help stabilize and grow threatened species. Southern white rhinos are currently designated as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
According to the zoo, the number of southern white rhinos in the African wild dwindled to about 50 in the late 20th century. Thanks to conservation efforts, that population has made it all the back up to 20,400-plus the cuties like our new calf who live in zoos around the world.
"These babies and the rest of our southern white rhino herd are wonderful ambassadors for their species, giving our guests the opportunity to connect with and appreciate these magnificent animals," Chief Zoological Officer Larry Killmar said in the news release. "The zoo's efforts to save this species is yet another example of the leadership role that ZooTampa plays in conserving important species both at home and around the world."
The new calf, who doesn't have a name yet, will likely join the the zoo's "crash"-the awesome name for a group of rhinos-in the coming weeks. Guests at the zoo will be able to see her on Expedition Wild Africa, which is scheduled to open soon.